On Wednesday, December 15, we were going to hike up to Peacock Flats, a part of the Mokuleia Forest Reserve. For this hike, we followed an asphalt service road.
The beginning is a tease, straight and flat. But soon, your legs start to feel the rise in the grades with an ample supply of curves to keep you honest. There is an advantage to the upward push. As we climb, the views back to the coastline improve.
Both sides of the road are thick with greenery and splotches of color. Bike riders strain as they creep up the hills, but they come screaming down those same hills on the return loop.
Occasionally, we hear birds. In one section, a bird sounds like he/she is cackling in laughter at us as we trudge up another hill.
We do take some stops and look back at the blue sky with puffy clouds hanging above the Pacific. Once again, not a bad view.
Then we recommit to keep pushing upward, and we do reach the Earl Pawn Campground at Peacock Flats.
The campground has a nice grass meadow surrounded by a variety of tall trees. Up here the asphalt trail disappears.
After a bit of exploring, we decide to start the walk back down.
At one point, I take note of a shrub growing above a rock line with its exposed roots coming down the face of the rocks below. Somehow, this good sized shrub has figured out how to survive.
In the flatland of the valley we can see the runways for the Dillingham Airfield. I ask Art about gliders out here and almost instantly he notes a tow plane pulling a glider up into the sky.
I still have a kid’s fascination with airplanes. As we continue to watch the sky we received an unexpected treat.
In that clear blue, a glider that had been towed up and released earlier came gliding over us. Now that plane was hundreds of feet up in the sky. Yet, the quietness of our location allowed us to hear the wind wisping over its wings. Art commented—“For a glider pilot that is truly touching the face of God.”
Somewhere down below us is that flapjack flat surface where we started. Eventually we get there and follow this straight shot back to the car.
Art thought it would be a good idea to head into town to the food truck CrispyGrindz for an acai bowl.
In Haleiwa, there is a section in town where either side of the main road has two large parcels of land dedicated to food trucks. The acai bowl was as promised—delicious.
Thursday, December 16, 2021
This morning, Art drove us back in Honolulu. Our first stop is the Bishop Museum.
If in Honolulu, you must visit this museum. Even if you have a short window of time, you must make this stop.
Yes, the meticulous displays seem endless. But, endless is to be expected for a museum that started in 1889. And the curators use these displays to tell the story of the people of Hawaii. Those stories are told with documents, photographs, and artifacts. Every aspect of life is captured.
Also, the museum incorporates the culture and history of other Pacific island cultures.
Beyond these traditional museum showcases, leaders at the Bishop bring in special exhibitions. On our visit, we took in Tatau: Marks of Polynesia. Also, the complex includes a state of the art planetarium that offers a variety of programming.
Again, if I’m lucky enough to return to Hawaii someday, I would like to spend more time exploring the Bishop Museum.
From the Bishop, we found our way to the Broken Boundary Brewery. This craft brewery also opened at the beginning of the pandemic, and somehow they have survived.
The location for Broken Boundary is in a warehouse/industrial section of the city. But, the owners have taken this large interior space and given it a practical layout.
The brewery is in full view so visitors can watch as brewers attend to the various stages of brewing.
My bacon jam smash burger was delicious, and I enjoyed my Red Irish Ale named Ginger Ginger.
Once back at the house, we regrouped and headed to the beach.
At some point, we took a nice leisurely walk heading west toward what Abby with great affection calls Parker’s beach. Just a few blocks away by car, Abby and Art’s son, Parker and his new bride reside in a condo.
On that walk, in the clear shallows next to the shoreline, we observe sea turtles. From time to time, the turtles will poke up their heads gulp some air and look around a bit.
I hope we can continue to protect these turtles and the environment they need to survive.
Friday, December 17, 2021
I knew this day would arrive, but I tried not to think about it.
Early that morning, we took the short drive over to the Haleiwa Harbor.
That is where Art and Parker keep their boat. No fishing this morning, just a short cruise offshore. This is a good way to take a look at the land and the shoreline from a different angle.
The morning was postcard pretty. From the dock, we step on board as Art prepared the boat for departure. Other boats are in motion too, some going out, some heading in.
With a bright sun glistening off the Pacific, our views in every direction are pleasing. In fact, just about all of our views since November 30 are sure to stay with us for a long, long time. I’m not looking forward to the ride to the airport late this afternoon.
While out on the boat, we have an unexpected treat. A few flying fish break the surface of the unsteady ocean and quickly skim by us. And then, just as quick, a singular spinner dolphin leaps and teases with its spin before disappearing again in the deep water.
Back in the harbor, Art tidy ups the boat, and Abby drives Betsy and I to Longs Drugs. Longs has a great selection of gifts for family and friends back home.
After Longs, we pick up Art, and head back to the house for the least favorite chore—packing up.
Amazingly, the packing goes well, so we head to the beach.
Later in the afternoon, we drive into Haleiwa for some food at Uncle Bo’s. I ordered Uncle Bo’s Kalua Pig Fried Rice with spinach. The dish was filling and tasty, just what I needed for the long redeye flight from Honolulu to Dallas/Ft. Worth.
We drove back to the house to make one more sweep for any potential stowaways who didn’t want to leave.
As we walked our luggage down the front steps, I took one last look at the pretty blooms of the plumeria tree. No blooms will greet us back in Richmond, and that’s ok. After all, the season of winter begins in four days on December 21.
With the bags loaded, we piled in the car, and Art started the drive back into Honolulu.
Goodbye Waialua, the Commander Supreme and I hope to return someday.